We know the list: RIAA can’t keep up with free file sharing; traditional journalism can’t keep up with blogging and other online communication tools; traditional knowledge-regulating bodies (Encyclopedia Brittanica) can’t keep up with Wikipedia; etc. etc. etc.
But here’s something different: The NCAA can’t keep up with online tools either. It’s against NCAA rules to attempt to persuade a recruit to choose a school, and so a Facebook group cheerleading a high school basketball player to go to NC State is against the rules (Sports Illustrated). But who’s culpable? And who can punish whom?
I just read Mary Kalantzisa and Bill Cope’s “On Globalisation and Diversity” (Computers and Composition 23.4 : 402-411). Kalantzis and Cope explain the narrative of three globalization phases: 1) the first globalization, which involved the diversification of languages and cultures and the spread across the globe; 2) the second globalization, which involved the development of writing and agriculture and the colonization of the world by Europe, resulting in homogenization; and 3) the emerging third globalization, which involves de-centralization of power, “new forms of subjectivity and new kinds of personality” (408), and a new proliferation of differences, including “a return to radical multilingualism” (409).
As I read, I was suspicious of the sweeping history of thousands and thousands of years of history, but after reading the article about Facebook, perhaps there is something to this third globalization, which is, as Kalantzisa and Cope speculate, just now beginning. I’m still suspicious of the sweeping narrative, and I’m wondering if these three globalizations (if this is even an accurate representation of history) might overlap more than Kalantzisa and Cope discuss. (It seems to me that the last few hundred years have been more of a mixture of homogenization and diversification and of centralization and de-centralization.)